The Australian War Memorial continues to explore innovative ways to tell the stories of Australia's wartime experience with the launch of Trapped, a new six-part podcast produced in conjunction with Melbourne writer and author Tom Trumble.
Trapped delves into the remarkable story of Flight Lieutenant Bryan Rofe and his men, who in 1942 were taken to the limits of human endurance as they spent 58 days evading Japanese patrols in the Timorese jungle.
The story is brought to life in vivid detail by Mr Trumble, who is the grandson of Flight Lieutenant Rofe. Through first-hand accounts and official records, Mr Trumble follows the experiences of the 29 airmen stranded on Timor, the men who risked their lives to rescue the stranded airmen, and those sent to hunt them down.
Assistant Director, Public Programs at the Australian War Memorial Ms Anne Bennie said Trapped is another example of the Memorial's commitment to sharing the Australian experience of war with as wide an audience as possible.
"The Memorial is always looking for new ways to engage Australians with the national collection and the stories it tells, whether they are visiting Canberra or seeking information through the Memorial's website and social media channels," Ms Bennie said.
"Using diaries of the airmen and wartime records, and through interviews with survivors, Tom Trumble has powerfully brought his grandfather's story to life for today's generations. It is a story that is compelling whilst being intensely personal to him, and this passion for his family and its history is reflected in this powerful piece of storytelling."
Mr Trumble never met his grandfather, who died before he was born, and first learned about his war experiences from his grandmother.
He undertook extensive research, trawling through wartime records and diaries and conducting interviews with survivors, to piece together a more detailed version of his grandfather's incredible story of survival against the odds.
"I've always been obsessed with his story and particularly his war experience," Mr Trumble said.
"It's a story of survival, courage, leadership, mateship and, at certain points, cruelty and violence, during history's bloodiest conflict.
"It's something that I keep returning to ... the podcast is like a dream come true. It's just been a real labour of love."
A trailer for the podcast can be found on the Memorial's YouTube channel.
Trapped is supported by Boeing, and is available now via the Australian War Memorial website and all major podcasting platforms.